- President Donald Trump wants to move forward with tariffs on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US, according to a new report.
- The move would be a massive escalation of the trade war with China – over 50% of Chinese imports would be subject to tariffs.
- US stock indexes fell following the news.
President Donald Trump is ready to take the trade war with China to the next level, according to a new report.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Trump had told aides that he wants to follow through on a threat to impose tariffs on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods as early as next week. That would mean more than half of all Chinese imports would be subject to tariffs.
The tariffs could go into effect after the public-comment period ends on September 6.
According to the report, the move is not a done deal and the administration could impose the tariffs in installments to lessen the impact. Economists have warned that substantially ramping up the trade war would increase costs for US businesses and harm American companies.
The list of goods that would get hit with the tariffs is still being finalised, but the initial list showed a pronounced shift in Trump’s trade-war strategy. It included many consumer goods, such as fabrics and hats, while previous tariffs have focused mostly on industrial goods like machinery.
When Trump announced the possibility of the tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing responded by threatening tariffs on $US60 billion worth of US goods. If those measures go forward, almost all US goods heading to China would be subject to tariffs.
Following the report, US stock indexes slid, with the Dow Jones industrial average off by 143 points, or 0.55%, as of 2:25 p.m. ET.
Here’s a timeline of the US-China trade war so far:
- March 1: President Donald Trump announces tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminium, including metals from China.
- March 22: Trump announces plans to impose a 25% tariff on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods. China announces tariffs in retaliation to the steel and aluminium duties and promises a response to the latest US announcement.
- April 3: The US trade representative announces a list of Chinese goods subject to the tariffs. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.
- April 4: China rolls out a list of more than 100 US goods worth roughly $US50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
- May 21: After a meeting, the two countries announce the outline of a trade deal to avoid the tariffs.
- May 29: The White House announces that the tariffs on $US50 billion of Chinese goods will move forward, with the final list of goods released June 15. The move appears to wreck the nascent trade deal.
- June 15: Trump rolls out the final list of goods subject to new tariffs. Chinese imports worth $US34 billion would be subject to the new 25% tariff as of July 6, with another $US16 billion worth of imports subject to the tariff at a later date.China retaliates with an equivalent set of tariffs.
- June 18: Trump threatens a 10% tariff on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
- July 6: The first tranche of tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods takes effect; China responds in kind.
- July 10: The US releases an initial list of an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10% tariff.
- August 1: Washington more than doubles the value of its tariff threats against Beijing, announcing plans to increase the size of proposed duties on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.
- August 3: China says it will impose tariffs of various rates on another $US60 billion worth of US goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.
- August 7: The US announces that the second tranche of tariffs, which will hit $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods, will go into effect on August 23.
- August 23: The US imposes tariffs on another $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing responds with tariffs on $US16 billion worth of US goods.
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